Ginebra's torrid shooting, edge in rebounding too much to handle, admits Norman Black

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Meralco coach Norman Black said his team had no answers for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s big response in Game 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

The Bolts settled for a split of the first two games of the best-of-seven series after going down 99-93 Friday, April 8 at the Mall of Asia Arena, as their comeback bid from 20 points down fell short in the end.

Black said the Gin Kings’ hot shooting from long range in the second quarter along with their difficulty getting the rebounds are things that got them behind the eight ball early in the contest.

“I thought Ginebra shot the ball really, really well tonight compared to the first game, particularly during the second quarter,” he said. “They were making most of their threes and we seemed to be a step slower as far as closing out on their shooters and challenging their shots.

“We did a much better job in the second half, but we let them get the lead and it’s pretty difficult to come back. It wasn’t just one guy, it’s a lot of guys who were hitting their shots from the perimeter so it became more difficult to defend them.

“In addition to that, we lost the rebounds tonight which is important for us. As much as possible, I want to push the pace against this team but we can’t control the boards and it’s difficult to do that,” Black added.

But Black found silver linings in Meralco’s rally, which saw the Bolts pull within two twice and three with under two minutes to go.

Aaron Black picked up the scoring slack with Allein Maliksi being held scoreless and put the Bolts in a good position to tie it up late in the contest.

A three-point attempt by Raymond Almazan could have tied the game at 94-all before Gin Kings import Justin Brownlee scored a dunk after snatching the ball from Chris Banchero with 1:22 to go, a play that left the Bolts deflated.

“We came back and got it down to three. We had a couple of shots at it. Raymond missed a three-pointer and we got the ball stolen from us,” he lamented.